Hume, Dialogues and Harmony of the Universe

Theoria: Beograd 65 (4):77-89 (2022)
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This paper provides epistemological support for one of Hume’s numerous critiques of the teleological arguments for God’s existence. Hume explores the following question: can we explain the observed harmony of the universe without appealing to the work of an intelligent creator? The answer, presented through the character of Philo, appears to be positive. I will try to defend this position. Following Hume’s theory of space, and exploring the relation between ideas of the whole and relation, I will show the universe can be seen as finite space with definite numbers of parts which are spatially and causally interconnected. Because all changes occur on the basis of Hume’s principle of causation, we can say the harmony of the universe is established and maintained precisely because of the changes happening on the basis of causation. If this is the case, the role of the intelligent creator appears to be redundant.

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Bogdana Stamenković
University of Belgrade


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